Laser hair removal has become a popular choice for those seeking a long-term solution to unwanted hair in Ottawa and other cities in Canada.
Yet, the success of this procedure isn’t just about the laser itself; it starts with a simple but crucial step—shaving before the treatment.
In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind the importance of pre-treatment shaving and how it significantly contributes to the overall effectiveness of your laser hair removal session. But first…
What is laser hair removal and how does it work?
Before we explore the role of shaving as a pre-treatment routine, let’s understand the fundamentals of laser hair removal.
This cosmetic procedure involves the use of a concentrated beam of light (laser) to remove unwanted hair.
The laser targets the pigments in the hair follicles, heating them and inhibiting future hair growth.
However, for this process to work optimally, the laser needs direct access to the hair follicles beneath the skin’s surface.
Why Shave Before Laser Hair Removal?
Shaving the area to be treated might seem like a simple pre-step, but its significance cannot be overstated. When you shave before laser hair removal, you eliminate the surface hair.
This seemingly minor action plays a crucial role in allowing the laser to reach the hair follicles directly.
The absence of surface hair ensures that the laser energy penetrates deeply, targeting the root of the hair for more successful and long-lasting results.
What happens if you do laser hair removal without shaving first.
Now, what happens if you do not shave before laser hair removal? The surface hair, if not removed, becomes an obstacle for the laser.
Instead of reaching the hair follicles, the laser energy gets absorbed by the surface hair.
This means the hair follicles don’t get the necessary amount of laser energy for the treatment to work well. It’s like having a roadblock on the way to your destination—the laser can’t reach the intended target, and the energy gets wasted on the surface, leaving you without the desired results.
But the impact goes beyond just unsatisfactory results. Skipping the shave increases the risk of skin irritation.
Unshaved hair can cause post-laser redness, inflammation, and swelling.
This is because the laser energy meant for the follicles interacts with the surface hair, causing adverse reactions on the skin.
Additionally, if your hair is longer, there’s a higher chance of getting burns and blisters. That’s because longer hair can absorb up too much of the laser energy.
You might also like this: How To Get Rid Of Acne (And Other Post-Laser Hair Removal Side Effects)
Shaving as a Preventive Measure
Pre-treatment shaving isn’t just a recommendation for better outcomes; it’s a preventive measure.
When your hair is dry-shaved on the day of the procedure, your skin may become more sensitive and prone to irritation.
In worst-case scenarios, it could even result in cuts, making your skin more vulnerable to adverse reactions during the laser hair treatment.
Shaving beforehand ensures not only a smoother procedure but also reduces the likelihood of complications and discomfort during and after the treatment.
The simple act of shaving one to two days before laser hair removal plays a pivotal role in the success of the procedure.
It’s not just about preparing the skin; it’s about optimizing the conditions for the laser to do its job effectively.
By eliminating surface hair, you pave the way for the laser to reach the hair follicles directly, maximizing its impact and ensuring the results you’ve invested in.
So, before your next laser hair removal session, remember: the key to success lies in a clean shave.
Dr. Lian Peter, MD, MPH, CCFP, is a Family physician with a passion for aesthetics. In her aesthetic clinic, she provides a wide range of minimally invasive and non-invasive procedures, constantly honing her skills to deliver exceptional care and help patients attain their desired appearance.